No doubt our children are the greatest gifts we can ever receive in our lifetime. However, they can be a handful and this can make travelling with them quite difficult. In this article we will discuss how to make travelling with your children a more enjoyable and less stressful experience.
Inform them of the travel plans
You don’t need to go in-depth to discuss the plans. You just need to make your child comfortable about the trip. If you’re going on a vacation, show them the hotel room you’ll be staying at and some of the sites and activities that might interest them. If you’re visiting relatives, you can show pictures of them to your child and tell some of the fun experiences you had with said relatives. You can get really creative with this; you can present the trip as an adventure that you and your child will surely enjoy. Be careful not to ‘overhype’ the trip though. Doing so might result in your child setting up unrealistic expectations for the trip.
Distract them with DVDs or tablets or games
Long car and airplane rides can be boring, especially for our children. Playing their favorite Disney movies on a portable DVD player might keep them occupied for a while. Downloading a few of Youtube videos on the tablet beforehand can also help in keeping them busy. Allowing them to play mobile games is another option.
Bring some of their favorite toys and books
If you don’t want to expose your child to too much TV and video games, you can bring some of their toys and books. You need to choose ‘travel-friendly’ toys though. Choose the ones that aren’t easily disassembled and those that won’t create a mess. For example, it will be better for you to bring them a stuffed bear instead of a tub of kinetic sand. You might also want to keep their toys and books in one bag for easy clean up.
Reward their good behavior
Incentives can definitely help them be on their best behavior. Promise them a reward if they stay behaved for the entire trip. You can keep these prizes simple; a candy bar or a little toy car can do the trick. And everyone says yes to ice cream.
Play games with them
There are many games that you can play with just your child and your travel buddies. I Spy and 20 Questions are some of the classics. You can even invent a new game to play together with your child.
Bring some snacks
A few snacks and beverages will keep your child both occupied and full. Try to bring food that won’t easily spoil and can be eaten without any utensils; crackers, biscuits and cookies comes to mind. This can also prevent ear popping in children during flights. A piece of hard candy or two can also prevent your child from getting air and/or car sickness.
It may seem hard work to plan out a vacation that will be enjoyable to both the kids and the parents, but in the end any enjoyable experience for a kid is one where they feel comfortable and loved. Even if the trip is just a short bike ride.